Everything You Need to Know About Buying an Electric Vehicle (EV) in Singapore

Published by on . Updated on 6 Mar 2021

A Guide To Not Buy An Electric Vehicle(Photo Credit: Unsplash)

Looking to buy an Electric Vehicle (EV) after the recent announcements made by the Singapore Government? In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know before buying one.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat’s 2020 and 2021 budget statement, Singapore has plans of phasing out internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles by 2040.

Since early last year, the Singapore Government has been promoting electric vehicles (EVs) in our country, from implementing rebates to expanding the EV facilities like Electric Charging stations by 2030. Earlier today, 4 March 2021, the Government also stated that no more diesel cars are allowed to be registered in Singapore by 2025.

The entry barrier for EVs in Singapore has become lower thanks to all these new incentives and rebates. This means you can own one too!

If you are planning to purchase an EV in the near future, here is a handy guide for you.

What are the types of Electric Cars?

A Guide To Not Buy An Electric Vehicle 2

(Photo Credit: Nova Scotia Power)

If you are new to EVs, there are three types of electric vehicles:

  • Fully Electric Vehicle (FEV) or Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV)
  • Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
  • Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)

PHEVs are the most preferred choice of electric vehicles in Singapore. Charging it fully is relatively quick and the engine runs on both electricity and gasoline of a ratio of 3:1.

What are your options for Electric Car Models?

A Guide To Not Buy An Electric Vehicle 3 (Photo Credit: Electrive)

Apart from Tesla, many other mass-market car brands also produce electric vehicles. Currently, they cost between S$100,000 to $500,000 in Singapore.

You can refer to the table below for comparison.

Car Model

Price (including COE)

Vehicle Type

Battery Capacity (Useable)

Efficiency

Real Range

Audi Q4 E-tron Sportback quattro

$333,461

SUV

86.5 kWh

231 Wh/km

375 km

BMW i3s Electric

$196,888

Hatchback

37.9 kWh

165 Wh/km

230 km

Porsche Taycan 4S

$462,058

Sedan

71.0 kWh

189 Wh/km

375km

BYD e6 Electric

$104,888

MPV

80 kWh

195 Wh/km

370 km

Honda E Electric

$147,000

Hatchback

28.5 kWh

168 Wh/km

170 km

Hyundai IONIQ Electric

$159,999

Sedan

38.3 kWh

153 Wh/km

250 km

Kia Niro Electric

$172,999

SUV

64 kWh

173 Wh/km

370 km

Jaguar I-Pace EV320

$358,999

SUV

84.7 kWh

232 Wh/km

365 km

MG ZS

$116,888

SUV

42.5 kWh

193 Wh/km

220 km

Mini Cooper Electric

$144,000

Hatchback

28.9 kWh

156 Wh/km

185 km

Nissan Leaf Electric

$129,888

MPV

36 kWh

164 Wh/km

220 km

Renault Zoe Electric

$115,999

Hatchback

52 kWh

165 Wh/km

315 km

Tesla Model 3 Standard Range

$158,847

Sedan

50 kWh

149 Wh/km

335 km

Tesla Model 3 Performance

$200,817

Sedan

76 kWh

165 Wh/km

460 km

At the moment, purchasing an electric car is pretty much the same as getting a diesel or petrol-powered car.

Prices are somewhat similar after taking the car maintenance fees and increasing rebates into account.

What are the Incentives available when I purchase an Electric Car?

A Guide To Not Buy An Electric Vehicle 4 (Photo Credit: CNA)

In the most recent Budget 2021, the Government announced that there would be more incentives to narrow down the “cost differential” of electric and ICE cars.

Leading these initiatives will be the new National EV Centre(NEVC) that will oversee the development of a robust EV ecosystem Singapore dreams to have.

These incentives are:


Lowering ARF Floor to Zero

The Additional Registration Fee (ARF) floor will be lowered to zero for electric cars from Jan 2022 to Dec 2023. ARF is a tax calculated based on the Open Market Value of a registered imported car in Singapore.

To check out the rebates for mass-market electric vehicles after lowering the ARF floor, click here.


EV Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI)

The EV Early Adoption Incentive (EEAI) scheme allows those who purchase fully electric cars to receive a rebate of up to 45 per cent on the ARF.

Such a rebate is limited to S$20,000. This initiative will run untill January 31, 2023.


Revision of Road Tax Bands

The Government has also mentioned revising the tax bands, which allow owners of a mass-market electric car to pay a road tax similar to ICE cars, depending on make and model.

LTA recently revealed that there has been a 34% reduction for electric cars in the 90-230kW bracket after revising the road tax for mass-market electric car models. To see the revised road tax for these cars, click here.


Enhanced Vehicular Emission Schemes (VES)

As of 1st January 2021, there would be an increase in rebates for cleaner vehicles and an increased surcharge for more pollutive vehicles.

  • Band A1 Cars: $25,000 rebate
  • Band A2 Cars: $15,000 rebate

The enhanced VES will last until Dec 31, 2022.

To summarise everything, the government wants you to convert to electric vehicles. If you purchase an electric car, it saves you $45,000 after the incentives enhancement.

How much money do I save if I make the switch to an Electric Car?

A Guide To Not Buy An Electric Vehicle 5 (Photo Credit: Pexels)

The main selling point of purchasing an electric car is the long-run savings on fuel costs. You will also be doing your part to save the environment!


Lower Fuel Consumption

A Guide To Not Buy An Electric Vehicle 6 (Photo Credit: Pexels)

EVs run on electricity rather than the usual diesel or petrol for ICE cars. If you are unaware, petrol costs an average of $2.30 per litre after the recent hike announcement, compared to the energy tariff rate of $0.22/kWh.

We’ll provide an example and do the math for you.

According to data.gov.sg, a private car has an average annual mileage of approximately 17,500 kilometres per year, with the current price of $2.30 per litre for petrol costs.

Here, we will compare a Hyundai Ioniq EV to a 1.6 litre Toyota Altis:


Hyundai Ioniq EV

1.6l Toyota Vios

Energy Consumption Rate

11.5 kWh/100km

6.1 litres/100km

Costs

$0.22/kWh

$2.30 (95-Octane)

Energy Costs Per Month

$36.90

$204.60

Energy Costs Per Year

$442.75

$2455.25

Energy Costs for 10 Years

$4,425

$24,552.50

Savings

$20,127.50


*We used OneMotoring Fuel Cost Calculator

Just look at that! In 10 years, you’re saving around $20,000 if you make the switch to an EV.

These are the numbers and it clearly shows that the electric costs of the Ioniq are significantly cheaper than the petrol costs of a Vios.

There are also speculations that some electric charging companies will roll out a new payment form for charging points. They may be monthly subscription-based and it’ll be cheaper than the monthly average cost of petrol.


Lower Maintenance Costs

A Guide To Not Buy An Electric Vehicle 8 (Photo Credit: Current News)

Adding on to that, an electric car has no internal combustion engine. You'll save on your monthly or yearly maintenance as there is no need to check on your liquid fuel components, such as fuel pump, fuel line and fuel tank.

Where can you charge your Electric Car?

A Guide To Not Buy An Electric Vehicle 9 (Photo Credit: CNA)

Today, there are currently thousands of charging points across Singapore, owned by companies such as BlueSG, Shell Recharge, SP Group and Greenlots Singapore (powered by Shell Group).

$30 million will also be set aside for the next five years for EV-related initiatives, which is also part of the Singapore Green Plan 2030.

Singaporeans can look forward to 60,000 charging points, all of which will be available at public car parks and private compounds like malls and condominiums. The NEVC will look to speed up the deployment of EV chargers to pave the way for accessibility and more EVs in the country.

We will elaborate more on this in a future article, do keep a lookout for it.

When should you buy an Electric Car?

A Guide To Not Buy An Electric Vehicle 10 (Photo Credit: Pexels)

After cramming you with all these details on incentives and rebates, should you buy an electric car soon? Well, the answer is, no. Instead, you should wait until 2022.

At the moment, most people are hesitant to buy an EV due to the limited charging infrastructure. There will be more infrastructure built for electric vehicles from the end of 2021 till early next year.

Thanks to the reduction of ARF and the road tax for EVs from 2022. Owners can expect it to be $5,000 cheaper as compared to petrol or diesel engine cars.

Finally, car manufacturers are making a shift towards producing more electric cars, which ranges from SUVs, MPVs, Sedans, Hatchbacks and Supercars. So, we’re sure it’s worth the wait.

Electric vehicles aren't just an idea of the future anymore, and soon they will part of our everyday life.

We hope this guide on electric cars helps you start thinking about making the switch.

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